Here comes the whining.
I just read Unwind by Neal Shusterman, and it was pretty awesome. Medium length young adult novel short, in a dystopic world, abortion is illegal, but parents can decide to “retroactively abort” their kid when they are between 13-18 years old. The kids become “unwound,” the term for being harvested for parts. The law requires that 99.44% of their bodies/organs be reused into other people for necessity or vanity. The idea being that this actually keeps the child alive. This all came about after the “Heartland Wars” between the pro-choice and the anti-choice groups. Someone offered the bill creating this strange law as satire or whatever, perhaps like how politicians now introduce bills requiring men to get a rectal exam before being prescribed Viagra, and people took it seriously.
Here is my problem: when describing this world, the Shusterman told the reader about the ridiculous things the sides used to do, ie, get pregnant only to abort the baby for parts and murder abortion doctors. NEWS FLASH, SHUSTERMAN: the anti-choice crowd already does this. This isn’t exaggeration. This is reality.
My problem becomes the way the book tries to appeal to a middle ground or say both sides are bad. The Daily Show does this sometimes too, and it bothers me there. I do not believe the two sides are equal. Yes, politicians on both sides may lie and cheat or be shady. I wasn’t behind Harry Reid when he got on the Senate floor and said he heard from an anonymous source that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid any taxes, though I couldn’t care less about the pictures Anthony Weiner or Christopher Lee send. I’ve picked a side when it comes to attempts to take away voting rights or reproductive rights or securing equal pay for equal work or access to health care. I resent attempts to make me feel guilty for having opinions.
In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel that when he walks on a road “Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, you get squished just like grape.”
In the X-Men movie made in 2000, Wolverine tries to belittle Storm for possibly choosing the wrong side, and she says “at least I’ve chosen a side.”
So as much as I disagree with people protesting outside Planned Parenthood, pictures of Obama with a Hitler-stache, or the van I saw the other day protesting marriage equality in Maryland that, as far as I could tell, just said Jesus a bunch of times in large type, at least they’ve chosen a side. I fear the America they want to create, but at least they are working (peacefully, for the most part, even if their goals won’t lead to peace…because I don’t think disenfranchisement will lead to peace, but I digress) to create what they think will be a better world. I disagree with them, so I will fight them. If they succeed, since I believe firmly they are wrong and what they want to create is unconstitutional, I don’t think their version of America will last. Pointing fingers doesn’t help or create a better country, but neither does throwing up one’s hands and saying they both are bad. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.